EXCLUSIVE: Writer Josie Campbell Discusses’My Adventures With Superman’ Comic Series And It’s Ties To Season Two

With the release of ‘My Adventures With Superman‘ season two and also the comic book mini-series coming up very soon, I sat down with Writer and Co-Producer, Josie Campbell to talk all about it! As a huge fan of the first season, it was a pleasure to speak with her and hear her enthusiasm for what she does and also the characters she is working on.

‘My Adventures With Superman #1’ releases in comic book stores on 4th June and acts as a bridge between seasons one and two. Here’s a look at the covers of the first issue by Carlo Squiteri, Riley Rossmo, Gavin Guidry and WB Animation:

Josie is the writer of both the animated series and this comic book series, working alongside artist Pablo Collar and colourist Nick Filardi, here’s a look at some of their awesome interior pages:

We talked about the comic series and how closely it ties in with season two and what it meant to her to work on such a character and get multiple platforms to tell this story the way she wants to. Here is the full interview:

Tasmin: Hi, Josie, an absolute pleasure to be speaking with you today. How are you?

Josie Campbell: I’m doing good. How are you doing?

Tasmin: Yeah, good. Thank you. So I know, we’re here to talk about the comic series ‘My Adventures With Superman’, but I just want to say a huge thank you to you and your team for the show. I adore it. How have you found the reaction to you adapting that into a comic from TV?

Josie: Oh, it’s been nothing but positive, people are so excited. People are really excited to basically have our show in comic book form and not just TV form. And you know, it really is like an extra episode of the show. So I think people are going to really dig it. And I’m really excited how many people are already like “I’m giving this comic to my kids so that we can all watch the show together.”

Tasmin: Yeah, I actually got screeners for the first two episodes of season two and my son’s only two, but he was absolutely mesmerised when I watched it. He’s definitely going to be getting into that very soon! I’m sure there are restrictions on how much you can put into a series in terms of the screen time and the episodes, so it’s great that we get more time to explore all of that. But as someone who’s involved in both sides (the animation and also the comic) what’s it like in terms of having that creativity and telling that story?

Josie: I mean, it’s great all around. I mean, everybody working on the show, and me included are giant Superman nerds. My first ever Superman story to read was actually Death of Superman, I just dropped right in as a kid. I was like, What’s going on, and then I was so afraid of Superman. So it was really, really fun. Working on the show is different than working on the comic, just because the comic is so much more of a solitary endeavour.

But by this point, I started writing this just after season one and the voices of all the characters are just in my head even when on the page. I just hear Jack Quaid being like “Lois”, and Ishmael and Alice chiming in too, so it made it a lot easier to write this essentially Christmas episode of our show as a comic book, hearing all of their voices in our heads and having wonderful designs by the designers on the show. And actually one of the designers on the show, Carlo Squiteri did a variant cover for it, so definitely be on the lookout for that.

Tasmin: Yeah, definitely. So I was going to touch on the Christmas theme, actually. So obviously, in the end of series one is thanksgiving, we’ve got Christmas, the first two episodes of the second series covers Valentine’s Day.. Are you hoping to do any more holiday themes?

Josie: I mean, it was so funny. In season one, we actually ended up coming up with all of these holiday ideas. Just because holidays are such a big time for families and also for romance. A lot of your first Christmases together, your first Christmas as a family, your first Valentine’s Day together, your first Thanksgiving and meeting the family, like these are all really big milestones in your romantic life as well as your regular life.

And since we pitched the show as a rom com with punching, we felt like it was really important to hit all of these milestones. So yeah, we got really into the holiday thing, I think the Christmas episode is basically the comic mini series… It’s Clark’s first Christmas on his own because the farm is getting repaired from the events at the end of season one. And Jimmy and Lois have a plan to make it the best Christmas he’s ever had, which instantly gets complicated by runaway robots in the streets of Metropolis who might be destroying everything. So it was a lot of fun.

Tasmin: Speaking of that, this potential villain has similarities to Parasite and Dr Ivo, who we saw in the first series, but there’s something a little different this time round. Without spoiling anything what can you tell us about them? How much of a role do they play in the comic series and the second series of the TV show?

Josie: So the thing that we were trying to do with the comic was make something that feels like it’s an extra episode of the show. And we wanted to add emotion to some of the stuff happening in season two, but not necessarily impact or change what we’re doing in season two. I mean, I wrote this comic after we had made season two, so a lot of it is tapping in emotionally where the characters are, because you know, big things happened at the end of season one.

So to get to Valentine’s Day and season two and kick things off, there still needs to be a little bit of a journey. A little bit of like, okay, let’s recap, we all care about each other and get to know who they as people. So some of the characters that show up in the comic are comic exclusive characters too, but then there are teases to what’s going to be happening in season two, especially with the Krypton stuff, and the idea of space coming in. I think that’s all I can say for the moment…

Tasmin: So with with these characters, there’s a very different dynamic between Lois, Clark and Jimmy, mostly to do with the fact that they all know the secret, and they kind of help each other out by distracting people while Superman does his thing. It’s something we don’t really get to see often with Superman, what’s it like writing such an unusual dynamic for them?

Josie: Oh, it’s so fun! That was something we talked about back in season one to have that. This is a different sort of Superman trio than you’ve seen before. Because they are in on the secret. There’s no more secrets anymore. So it’s actually really fun. Because, like you said, I really can’t think of a single other Superman media that does the same thing where Lois and Jimmy are just as important as Clark, and they’re also just as invested as keeping that secret. So yeah, they’re distracting people. You’re going to see that in season two as well, they’re constantly being like “oh, Clark, I think you left something outside that you need to get”… they all basically turn into bad liars, but it somehow works.

Tasmin: The TV show seems to be setting up quite the Superman universe so far. Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of characters already in terms of villains, heroes and supporting characters. I’m sure there are more to come in season two as well, but what’s it like being able to expand and explore into that mythos of Superman history?

Josie: Oh, it’s really great. I mean, like I said we are big Superman nerds, but I’m also a huge DC nerd, which is part of why we started pulling in all these bits from the DC Universe. Our thinking and the way we approached this was like, okay, well, this is our Elseworlds. This is our Superman. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s tied into the Gunn-verse, it doesn’t mean it’s tied into the other animated stuff that’s come before. It’s its own entity. So if it’s its own universe, the whole universe is open to play with.

And luckily DC was really into the idea, they were really cool with it, especially when we’ve reinvented characters like Slade Wilson. He sounds like Jerry and they’re like “we’re into this that’s funny”. So yeah, so being able to bring in Amanda Waller and Task Force X as villains to Superman in season one and season two. We wanted to expand beyond just our faves like Mr Mxyzptlk. We also got to create new characters, like in that episode, like the League of Lois Lanes. It’s been great. And everybody from DC to Warner Brothers has been shockingly and incredibly supportive. Even when we throw out the weirdest ideas.

Tasmin: I think the weirdest one I saw was the crab at the end of season one!

Josie: Yes! We named him Crab Kent in the writers room.

Tasmin: What’s it like working with Pablo Collar and Nick Filardi on this? I’m assuming it was intentional, but they bring to life your version of the animated series so well. What was it like trying to find a team to be able to do that?

Josie: Oh, it was great. I mean, Pablo, when I first started talking to DC about this comic, they floated Pablo, and showed me some of his art and I was like, yeah, he’s doing it. We talked a lot about the fact that the series is very obviously anime influenced. The generation of all of us making it were the generation created by Toonami. So finding Pablo was great, because not only does his art like look a lot like the series, but he also brings in his own sort of manga flavour, like a lot of the stuff he does is very manga influenced. So his first sketches he did for us, he went all out and like, put screen tone on did a whole sort of manga page.

And then Nick’s been fantastic. His colours are so beautiful. And you know, we sent him episodes of the show, I sent him background paintings to show what the palette looked like, and he just ran with it. So it was really great, because they’re so talented. We’re putting something together that, like you said, looks a lot like the show, but still has its own little twist to it. So it feels like you’re getting something different, rather than just the same.

Tasmin: Now it’s almost the release of season two, the comic series comes out just after and it’s supposed to be bridging the gap between them. In what order would you say is best to experience this?

Josie: You know, I think it’s hard because some of the scheduling stuff got moved around. So the comic came out later and the series came out earlier than originally intended, but I would say buy the comic and watch the show at the same time. Just do it all at once. But also the comic helps inform season two. So I would say if you can, read the comic as it’s coming out. We didn’t want to give anybody homework and be like, you can’t watch a single episode until you read the comic. So I would say treat it like a fun extra episode. When when you watch the season two premiere, go buy the comic and read it and be like, hell yeah, I’m getting an extra episode every every month. So, yeah, consume it all at once!

Tasmin: And finally, how do you think this comic adaption will enhance the overall experience for viewers of the show? I suppose you kind of touched on that a little bit. But are you hoping to entice potential readers into watching the show that haven’t actually seen it before from this comic?

Josie: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think that, you know, again, the reception we’ve got on the show is great. But I think there are absolutely other people to reach especially like people who read the comics, but don’t necessarily watch the TV shows. Or people who have heard about the show, but aren’t quite sure they want it. This is a great way for them to pick it up, a great gateway for more people who haven’t seen the show to be like, “wait, I love this. There’s a show with the three of these idiots running around? I absolutely want to watch this.”

And then on the on the other hand, I’m really excited for viewers of the show to read the comic because like I said, everybody’s response has been like, “I want more, I want more, I want more”. Well after season two, this is more… this is another couple of episodes just written down in comic book form. So if you’ve never seen the show, this is a great jumping on point. If you have seen the show this is great extra episodes for you to read in the comfort of your own home.

Tasmin: Well, I can’t wait to see more of this universe in TV and comics. I wish you all the best in everything that you do and thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.

‘My Adventures With Superman’ season two airs on 25th May on Adult Swim in the US and on 26th May on Channel 4 for those in the UK. The first issue of the comic book mini-series (My Adventures With Superman #1) releases on 4th June.

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